Ariana's Fight Against Brain Cancer
The next morning Nov 12 we took her to the pediatrician, and we were sent to the hospital for a CT to rule out a concussion. At that time, we were so worried it was a concussion... Little did we know!
The CT showed a possible cyst or tumor in her brain. We were given a few choices on places for an MRI, as kids have to be sedated. We decided on Children's hospital in New Orleans, in case it was worse-case scenario. We were admitted through the ER at Children's that afternoon... They took us straight to the cancer floor without telling us anything, and I almost threw up. I told Lee it must be a mistake and the other rooms were full...
After a lot of talks with doctors, our heads spinning, we were told it was a tumor, and it would need to be operated on, BUT at the moment we had a bigger issue. The CT showed so much fluid on the brain, Ariana needed immediate surgery to put in an exterior ventricular drain. That surgery was about 5:30 or 6 on Nov 12.
We met with our neurosurgeon, and he showed us and told us the tumor was LARGE. It was also attached to important high-functioning areas of the brain. Then she had a brain surgery on Nov 18 to try to get the tumor out. She made it through surgery wonderfully. Doctors, nurses, everyone was pleasantly surprised. We had an MRI the next day.... To see how the tumor looked... And we got the news that 1/3 of the tumor remained. Dr. Roberts felt that he could get more out if he went in a second time, and so we put our trust in that.
Ariana's second brain surgery was Nov 20. Dr Roberts knew he got all he could, but that some still remained. After THAT MRI, we found out 20% is still in there.
We got her oncology report Nov. 21, 2014 on Ariana's 2nd birthday. She was diagnosed with ATRT, a VERY rare, malignant, stage 4 cancer. We knew we needed the best treatment possible, so we reached out to St Jude.
Ariana's pressures were great, so they turned off the EVD. Then, the CTs were good, so they took out the EVD. She was sweating from all the steroids and antibiotics, or so we thought... We later found out she was leaking brain fluid from her stitches...
and so she had her FOURTH surgery on Dec.5 to put in a shunt.
She also got a virus while in the hospital. We have now
been here 23 days, 13 in ICU, and we HOPE to be well enough to go to St. Jude SOON!
We need treatment, and we need it fast.
---Ariana has since had 2 more surgeries- a port and another tumor resection. (Total of 6 surgeries)
She has had 4 months of high dose IV chemo, 6 weeks of proton radiation to the brain, and 6 months of oral maintenance chemo. She has had several seizures and a lot of neuropathic pain. She is not cancer-free, but she WILL be!
Please help us as we help Ariana FIGHT for her life!i
We appreciate everything, and we are especially grateful for the prayers... You ALL will help us win this fight...
much love-- The Farraguts
The kids will be with Lee tonight, and that in itself is tough. I’ll get through it like every other day, one foot in front of the other. It’s just so heavy. I thought I’d share our “Happy Halloweens” through the years with some pictures.
I also wanted to let everyone know about what we are doing on Ariana’s 6th birthday, November 21 @7pm. We will release paper lanterns up to heaven for her. This will take place at Crestlawn Memorial Park graveside. I know she will love that, so bring a lantern, and come help us light up the sky for Ari.
I hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween!
I just wanted to bring light to the month of September because as most of you know, it’s soooo very important: Pediatric Cancer Awareness month—Every month is September for me. Our kids only receive 4% of govt. funding for cancer research. That’s 4% for alllll pediatric cancers. That’s why Ariana’s cancer drugs were ADULT meds,... That’s why some of Ariana’s drugs/chemos for treatment are over 40 years old. We didn’t have a choice! From the Get-Go: treatment or she has 6 weeks tops! What would you choose?!?!
We HAVE to do better. We NEED more cutting-edge... We need more medical hope. Ariana and so so many others DESERVED to grow up. Ariana never deserved all the suffering.... She deserved to LIVE....
Please donate to a research facility; volunteer your time; share posts; help families struggling.... Something small can belp SO BIG! God bless all of Team Ariana.... Together we ARE #AriStrong!
People say they can’t believe it has been 3 months already since Ari left us. All I can say is, “ I can’t believe it has ONLY been 3 months!!”
Feels like a lifetime since I held her, kissed her, begged God to save her, read the Bible to her, sang Lauren Daigle songs to her, told her how important she was to so so many. I replay those last hours in my head over and over and over. I never shared that ugly with you all. It was excruciating pain for everyone involved.
I know she’s dancing with Jesus today, but my heart is so broken! It doesn’t get easier; it just doesn’t.
The TRUTH is that life is hard and unfair. God promises that he will fight for you, renew your strength, take away your fear, hold your hand, and so on. We KNOW that; I believe it. It’s SO SO HARD to feel it though.
I guess the hardest part is that we not only need strength from God, but we also need mercy! People who are going through difficult things (like losing a child or relative, or a divorce, or anything) go to “dark places” more than they’d like to admit. The support disappears from most, and we are left in darkness... begging for God’s mercy. So it’s not just the struggle of finding strength.... It’s the struggle to get through a day or even an hour... Sometimes I beg God just to get me to the next minute. That’s the brutal truth!
For those of you still following us, thank you. Please continue to lift us up because the prayers are all we have.
3 months without my precious Ari feels like forever, and I long to be with her again. Pray for my broken heart....
I wish I could tell you about Ariana’s FIRST day of Kindergarten! I wish I could tell you how excited she was to meet her teacher and reunite with all of her friends...
I wish I could tell you how proud she was that she knew all of the answers to the questions the teacher asked. I wish I could tell you I cried dropping her off, and she didn’t even look back! She was always a big girl like that. I wish I could tell you her little matching backpack and lunchbox were almost as big as she. I wish I could show you her first day of school pic and how her little curls bounced from excitement while she twirled showing off her new school uniform! God, I wish so badly I could share all of these things with you all.
But.... all I have are this lump in my throat and all of this emotion with no where to go. Pediatric cancer stole her from us; it robbed her of a future. We have God to turn to. We know she’s in a much better place; my mind knows that, but my heart can’t get there. I miss her terribly.
Hug your babies; Take comfort in the back to school crazy and mundane! Some of us would give anything for it! It hurt my heart to drop off Jameson today, but I soaked up every second of the Back to School crazy at work. I told all the kids how excited and BLESSED I am to teach them! I meant it! I smiled through the entire day; I bit my lip... hard... when students told me they continued to pray for me... and how sorry they were...but I kept going. It was a beautiful, wonderful, so so difficult day.... But, Ari, I DID IT! I love and miss my baby girl more today than yesterday but not as much as I’ll miss her tomorrow! Cherish each day, y’all.... It’s gone in a BLINK!
Our kids deserve so much more!
Mr. and Mrs. Farragut....I know Ariana will not be in school for a couple of months. I want you to know that we consider her a special part of our school family and we will pray for her every morning before classes start. Please let me know what we can assist you with as you undergo this extremely difficult process....we will make every effort to support you, Ariana and Jameson. God Bless, Mr. Lopez
Praying for your sweet baby and you as well.
Prayers for your strength Jenna and that you, Lee and the children are able to do some fun things together and know that Ariana is watching over all of you and wants many happy thoughts and times for her family. I believe she was wise beyond her years. God Bless.
Hang in there Jenna. I can only imagine how hard it is right now. I loved Halloween when mine were little-now it's not as much fun. You are loved.
I will never forget precious Ari’s smile. You couldn’t help but love her. I’m so sorry she is gone. Your pain is so raw and I feel your cry for understanding and mercy from God. It is so hard to understand why a loving God continues to let these wonderful, beautiful children die. His most faithful servants beg and plead and it seems to fall on deaf ears. I will never understand. I wonder sometimes will you broken parents get an answer in Heaven. I have no words. Just know that I have not forgotten and think and pray for you often.
My heart breaks for you and your family. There has to be nothing more devastating and heart wrenching than the loss of as child. Ari's courage and fight has touched so many lives of those who followed your journey. I wish I had the words to ease your pain, but please know you and your family will always be in my prayers. May your deep faith in our Lord and the love of family and friends help you through.
My heart & prayers are with you & your family Jenna. Your precious Ari should be here; she should be with you. I hate that you are hurting so, & can not begin to fathom your pain. I am a mom too. I know I there isn't anything I can say to help. I just want you to know that I am listening, & I hear you. ♥
Jenna, continued prayers for you and your family. May God give you strength and courage each day. Sending a Big Comforting Hug.
Arianna's soul is in my constant prayers. I know that she is in the arms of Jesus now and will never hurt again, and she and your family have been such an inspiration to many. My heart breaks for you and your family as this is such an enormous loss. Prayers for comfort, hope and peace to you all!
Mrs. Farragut, I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers....I will never forget the Mass for Ariana! It will forever be an inspiration to me. God Bless, Mr. Lopez
You and your family always in my prayers...RIP Ariana.
So heart breaking. God has your baby girl and she is safe and playing in heaven. Ari knows how you feel and she is trying to comfort you. You just have to let her do that.